Halloween marks the unofficial start of the holiday season, so it’s a “spooktacular” idea to incorporate some fun, seasonal marketing ideas into your small business advertising. The really nice thing about Halloween being such a low-pressure holiday is that you don’t have to break the bank to make an impact; you can save your money for Black Friday and beyond. We have compiled a list of marketing tips that are both effective and relatively low cost.
Hold a Contest
Contests are a great way to engage customers. Set up hashtags specific to your social media and enter your customers in weekly or monthly drawings when they use your hashtag. Ask them to post pictures of themselves posing with your product or service in return for an entry into the contest, or let them enter as a reward for sharing, liking, or reposting your original posts.
Make Your Site Interactive
In preparation for Halloween, talk to your web designer about incorporating “Easter eggs” throughout your site with coupon codes or discounts for your customers. If you’re not familiar with digital Easter eggs, they are jokes, features, or messages hidden by programmers, designers, or developers in websites. These hidden treasures will encourage your customers to spend a little more time exploring than they would have otherwise. Similarly, you can design a pop-up spinner that lets your customers spin for a Halloween discount that they can use at check out.
Change Up Your Images
This tip is probably the least amount of work but can yield some pretty impressive results. Start by updating the pictures and images on your social media pages with a Halloween filter. Add a banner at the top of your page with an attractive Halloween-themed picture, and then switch up your font on the banner to something a little spooky. Round things out by adding new images of your products or services laid out among pumpkins and spider webs. You can also hit up Instagram Stories by uploading laid-back, behind-the-scenes short videos of how your company celebrates Halloween. Make the videos engaging and silly, and don’t be afraid to let your hair down with some Halloween puns.
Use What You’ve Got
You don’t have to rebrand completely to stand out during Halloween, but you might want to take a critical look at what you already sell and modify it for the holiday. If your business is retail, bundle products together at a slight discount and advertise them as “Un-BOO-lievable Deals!” Group together outfits that would work for Halloween parties or show what kinds of crazy make-up or hairstyles your team can pull off on a budget. Consider posting quick tutorials so that your customers can mimic your services at their own home. If you work with food, try adding some seasonal flavors to your menu that complement the holiday, and caption the new treats with witty descriptions.
How to Get the Word Out
Whether your business is completely online or is both online and in-store, you still have to get the word out that you’re celebrating the holiday. You can do that by sending coupon codes through your email marketing campaign, or by updating the banners on your website. As an added treat after purchase or for referring a friend during the month of October, offer your customers a coupon code for their next purchase. Update your social media regularly, and if you have a storefront, make sure that it’s attractive and grabs your customers’ attention. Even just tacking up some orange and black garland and some fake spider webs can go a long way.
Spice up Your Physical Store
It’s increasingly common for online businesses to go without a storefront altogether, but if you have one, make the most of it. You can start by filling your front window with a business-related Jack-o’-lantern. It might require a little bit of artistic talent, but there are now realistic Jack-o’-lantern forms that will stay spooky year after year. You might also want to highlight some of your inventory by grouping together Halloween-related products and putting them on display in your front area.
For some customer interaction, consider setting up a photo booth in your store during the few weeks leading up to Halloween, and encourage people to post a picture of themselves using your props and your company’s hashtag. Make sure that the hashtag is specific to your business and not just cute or funny so that other customers are directed to your social media pages. As a culminating activity for the month, think about hosting an event for your customers where they can bring their kids to trick-or-treat and maybe pick up a discount code while browsing your merchandise.
Halloween is a prime time of year to dress up and indulge in a little tomfoolery, but it is also a great time to up your marketing game. With a little bit of work and creativity, you can kick-start your small business’ marketing campaign just in time for the holiday season.